If you’re facing the conundrum of having to decide between conduction vs convection vapes, you’re not alone.

As the tech and cannabis industry merge, we’re overwhelmed with options. And with it, the healthy alternative of finding the right vaporizers are becoming more complicated.

Simply, they’re becoming more advanced, coming in different features, and having different price tags.

So with so many choices, where do you begin?

Knowing the differences, strengths and weaknesses of the two most popular types, conduction and convection vapes is a good start.

So without further ado, let’s dig in.

NOTE: If you’re thinking of why you should vape in the first place, check out this article about vaping vs smoking weed differences.

What is a Conduction Vaporizer?

Figure 1: Conduction Vaporizers transfer heat through a material source to turn cannabis into vapor. Think of how you boil water on a hot stove.

Conduction vapes depend on the direct contact method of transferring heat, similar to how a pot of water is being boiled on top of a stove.

In this scenario, you’re water becomes scorching hot because its in direct contact with a metal pot that’s being heated from below.

And inside conduction vapes this is how it unfolds:

First, the coil gets heated from the battery. Next, the metal or ceramic chamber with your cannabis inside gets heated from the coil. And because your cannabis is in direct contact with the walls of the chamber, it becomes vapor.

Simple and straightforward, isn’t it?

Sadly, simplicity doesn’t mean conduction vapes are flawless because they have weaknesses, along with strengths.

Related Article: How to Vape Weed Correctly in 4 Easy Steps

Conduction Vapes: Pros and Cons

A major weakness is how cannabis gets unevenly heated from inside.

For example, since heating takes place through direct contact, the cannabis that’s in touch with the chamber’s walls, like the herb’s sides and bottom, will only be heated.

This results in a few things. Both good and bad.

A good is that you’re cannabis will be ready to inhale a lot faster. But on the downside, the vapor will be lower quality, that is, it will have less cannabinoids and terpenes (less flavor, less potency). Also, there’s a much higher chance you’ll be inhaling toxic combustion smoke instead of vapor.

Another good for conduction vaporizers are that they’re designed for social vaping sessions, where stop-and-go isn’t part of your repertoire.

But again, the downside is, if you do vape alone, you’re likely stop-and-go vaping. And with conduction vapes, you won’t get the same number of puffs (draws) if you do so. So in other words, they can be less efficient in turning your cannabis into vapor. 

Related Article: Advantages and Benefits of Vaping Cannabis Over Smoking

A major reason why is because they’re made for sessions with continuous draws (puffs).

And example of a continuous draw session is smoking an entire joint in one go with friends. For instance, if you put out and re-light the joint again and again for later use, you won’t nearly get enough tokeage. Also, the potency and flavor won’t be the same.

Here’s the info graphic of the pros and cons of conduction vapes if you missed it above.

Click for a better view.

What is a Convection Vaporizer?

conduction vs convection vapes
Figure 2: Convection vapes use liquid or gas in the form of steam and hot air to turn cannabis into vapor.

A convection vape heats marijuana using steam and hot air. In other words, it creates marijuana vapor by circulating hot air through and around the chamber where your cannabis is stored.

This is similar to the workings of a convection oven.

Here’s how the process unfolds in a convection vape:

The coil or metal/ceramic plate is heated to a certain temperature by a battery. This creates steam that circulates inside the chamber where your cannabis is inside. As a result, the steam gradually turns marijuana into vapor.

And just like conduction, convection vapes have pros and cons also.

Convection Vapes: Pros and Cons

One pro is its ability to heat cannabis evenly, which creates more cannabinoid and terpene-rich vapor (more potent, more flavor). Another pro is its suitability for individual use, that is, for stop-and-go sessions where you don’t plan on finishing your cannabis all in one go.

A downside however, is how it takes more time to create cannabis vapor, along with being generally more difficult to use. Not to mention expensive.

Related Article: How to Find a Dry Herb Vaporizer That Best Suits Your Needs

Here’s the info graphic of the pros and cons of convection vapes if you missed it above.

conduction vs convection vapes guide
Click the image for a better view.

Conduction vs Convection Vapes? What about both in one.

If you’re looking to have the advantages of conduction vs convection vapes in one tool, hybrid vapes are an option.

A hybrid vape applies both conduction and convection heating methods to some degree, as each model will slightly be different to the ratio. 

This means hybrids vapes heat marijuana through its chamber walls and by circulating hot steam at the same time, therefore, holding strengths like a longer battery life with higher quality vapor.

Look out for a more detailed article soon.

So with choices of conduction vs convection vapes, and now hybrid ones – how do we make the best decision?

Conduction vs Convection Vapes: How to Decide?

Finding the right vaporizer depends on you and your preferences, such as how often you consume, your price range and what you’re regularly smoking (concentrate or dry herb). Just to name a few.

For example, if you regularly use dry herbs, you might like convection vapes more as they can limit the chances of inhaling toxic smoke. However, if you only find yourself vaping weed with friends and hardly on your own, conduction vapes are probably a wiser choice. Check this guide to learn more about dab pens and vape pens and which is a better choice for vaping concentrates or weed.

If you’re new to vaping and money is a factor, however, we say it’s probably best to start with an easy-to-use and less expensive conduction vape. This way you can experiment if vaping is for you and decide if you’d like to carry on traversing un-treaded vaping territory. 

And if you find that vaping is your thing, you can work your way up! Climbing the good ol’ ladder. 

Thanks for reading!

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Hey! I’m the editor of Herb Approach News, and i'll write on just about anything cannabis related. You can find me in British Columbia, exploring off the beaten path hiking trails, relaxing on cozy beaches in the summer or strolling through the city streets!